'The Little Shelter That Could'



It's 7:30 a.m. any given day of the week. The Payson Humane Society staff shows up for work and starts the task of cleaning up after 153 animals who have been locked inside for 14 hours. They are a hard-working team. Let's take this opportunity to introduce them.

Toni, the "Queen of the Dogs" cleans the kennels while the dog yard volunteers work with the dogs in the exercise yard.

The queen's job is to somehow manage a quality of life for the lost and abandoned adult dogs of Rim Country, whose numbers can sometimes reach as many as 55. She cleans, feeds, loves, medicates and socializes. She looks for illness and depression. She is a pack leader who loves unconditionally.

Her daughter, Mercedes, is in isolation tending the cats and kittens in the feline intake zone. Also, the sick ward of the shelter. Along with daily cleaning responsibilities, she provides daily examinations of each cat and kitten to ensure all are doing well. She gives them medication, feline shots and draws blood to check for feline AIDS and leukemia. She works the cats through their 21-day holding period, which is a requirement for any cat to be cleared for adoption. Her ability and dedication to do this very difficult and important work is a blessing to our organization as well as the animals she cares for.

Cheiri is cleaning, always cleaning the puppies' kennels. Puppies are lovingly called "poops" -- I think you get the drift. These are the most vulnerable members of the K9 family, and need a lot of TLC. Cheiri is a loving and gentle person who helps these babies make their journey through the system. She is careful to check each incoming puppy for any illness that could prove to be a disaster for Payson Humane Society.

Robbie is a wonderful worker. He sets about the tasks on his list faithfully and thoroughly. Robbie is in charge of litter box cleaning, doing dishes and eating donuts.

Jennifer is our part-time worker. She works in the main house cleaning cat houses and helps in the cat isolation area. Jennifer is also part of the Sunday staff, so she is trained in puppies and dogs. Jennifer really likes the cats; she has already adopted one, and has her eye on another.

Chandra is the newest member of our team. She is already well trained on the cleaning responsibilities at the shelter. She started out with cats and incoming isolation, and is now helping Toni with dogs. Chandra, like the rest of our team, is dedicated to the care of our animals. Jennifer and Chandra help to fill in all the gaps wherever needed. They take up the slack, and let me tell you there is plenty of slack -- they clean, feed, do laundry and any of the many other jobs that may occur.

Denise is the brainiac who keeps the computer portion of this place in order. She is a bookkeeper and also takes the unique job of keeping up with all the comings and goings of the animals, and does it very well. We are lucky she has joined our team.

At the helm of this mighty little shelter are two very strong women. Janet and Ellie are a powerful management team. They have the very difficult job of maintaining the policies and procedures that it takes to run an animal facility and keep it successful. The day-to-day decisions that are part of these women's lives are often very hard to make and without a happy ending. But, thanks to their willingness to give above and beyond, we are able to maintain a survival rate that is well above the national average.

Along with the wonderful staff at Payson Humane Society is an army of volunteers. Without their faithful and constant giving of time, day in and day out, it would not be possible to save the number of lives that are saved each year at PHS.

We invite you to come by and see us, and meet the wonderful animals available for adoption as well as the people who make it possible.


Bella is a beautiful, black and gray spayed female German Shepherd. She has a thick, long coat that will need lots of grooming.

Bella came into our shelter as a stray; we still can't understand why no one has claimed her. She is calm, friendly and gets along with other dogs.

She is a beautiful girl and a tribute to her breed.

Bella will need lots of exercise and big yard to play in.

Please come and meet her at the shelter.


Duke is a 1-year-old neutered male Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. He was brought into the shelter by animal control as a stray.

Duke is a little shy, but warms up to love and attention. Duke thinks he is a lap dog at times, but it's just that he needs to be assured that someone out there loves him.

Duke has not had any training, but our volunteers are working hard with him. They will start with basic commands, and then leash training.

Duke is a wonderful and loyal dog who just needs a friend.


Only one word describes Button -- Lover!! He is so gentle, and when he looks up at you with his very expressive eyes, you just can't walk away from him.

He is content to put his head in your lap and stay by you forever.

He is 2 years old, neutered and current on shots. He came into the shelter as a stray.

Please come by and see him. He will make a great family dog.


Thumper and Reesie are 4-month-old Aussie mix pups. They came into the shelter with their brother and sister, all looking for a new home.

These litter mates all have outgoing personalities, are great with other dogs, and love kids.

Since they are puppies, they will need to learn house manners, and require training so that they can go on walks or camping trips with you.

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